Speaker Bio – Julian Waters-Lynch

Julian Waters-Lynch

Julian Waters-Lynch

Senior Partner, The Holos Group

The Holos Group works at the intersection of strategic foresight, applied innovation and generative organisational design. Founded in 2008, The Holos Group comprises some of Australia’s most creative and innovative thinkers, dedicated to helping organisations thrive in complex times through creating breakthrough innovations and improving the quality of organisational life.

Julian is an organisational ethnographer with a particular interest in emerging forms of organising and their relationships with existing management and social theory. He is fascinated by people’s experiences of work and organisational life and the frequent gap between current realities and desired futures.

Julian draws on these inquiries when designing and facilitating foresight, leadership and collaborative strategy work with organisations, always with the hope of bringing desired futures a little closer to lived realities.

He will be joined by his colleague, Richard Harmer.

Holosophy: Four Meetings That Bring Organisations To Life

We are all familiar with the challenges of organisational life – endless meetings, unclear accountabilities and authority, inefficient processes and even implicit power games. We also know that as organisations face increasingly complex and volatile environments, these challenges do not get easier. Many of us sense that to grasp the opportunities of the future, different modes of organising are needed, but our institutions are frequently weighed down by the legacy of past practices.

‘The meeting’ is a key foundation of our organisations, yet so frequently a suboptimal experience for participants. One reasons for this is the common presence of multiple organisational aims within a single meeting. Some people might prioritise socially connecting and learning by reflecting on past work; others want to quickly identify next steps and agree on decisive action. Some orientate towards short term tactics; others want to consider adaptations for longer term strategy. All of these orientations are individually important parts of healthy organisations, but when simultaneously attempted they frequently result in mutually contradictory directions.

At The Holos Group we have reflected on the lack of alignment between the key meeting purposes and common meeting processes and practices. We have drawn on a range of recent organising methodologies such as agile, lean startup, sociocracy, holacracy and flox to develop our own approach to resolving these tensions. In this session we share part of this – four different styles of meetings, guided by some simple rules that are designed to optimise different organisational priorities. Understanding these differences can help leaders create more responsive organisational systems and help bring our organisational cultures to life.